Estrogen is known as the dominant female hormone to those who understand the basics of the endocrine system. To males the mention makes the strongest of bodybuilders cringe, for estrogen defeats their quest on becoming larger and jacked with testosterone. Let’s explain what Estrogen is first…
Estrogens are a group of steroid compounds responsible for the estrous cycle, functioning as the dominant female sex hormone. Estrogens can diffuse across the cell membrane in turn binding with active cell receptors, regulating several gene expressions. Produced primarily in the ovaries, placenta and corpus luteum, smaller amounts are found in the liver, adrenal glands and breasts. Interesting to note is that estrogen compounds can also be found in food products such as chick peas, dairy foods, soy, flax seeds, dried fruits, beans, alfalfa sprouts, bran cereals, tofu the list goes on.
Along with your natural estrogen which in women balances their menstrual cycle amongst other hormonal functions there are the nasty estrogens. Where do you find them and what are they called?
Many synthetic chemicals have the ability to mimic estrogen. We come across these everyday and may not know it, they can also be harmful to your health. Here is a list of Xenoestrogens…
- Pharmaceuticals (birth control)
- Heavy metals
- Industrial products
- Plastic products/ some household products
Unlike Xenoestrogens these are naturally occurring compounds that resemble the human estrogen on a chemical structure level, they can be found in foods as mentioned before, beans, peas, grains etc.
The two mentioned above are what we call Environmental Estrogens. They are available to humans through soil, air, water, plants and various other products we have contact with. Our exposure to these may be harmful to our bodies through disruption in our endocrine system.
So far we know that natural estrogen occurring in the body is vital for the female cycle and that there are 2 types of environmental estrogens which can be damaging to the body, but how are they damaging, what is the process and what do they damage internally? Firstly your endocrine system is made up of several organs the hypothalamus, thyroid gland, pituitary gland, adrenal gland, testes, ovaries and the pancreas. The function of this system of glands is to release hormones into your bloodstream. You can see how having proper functioning hormones can affect your overall physical and mental balance. Keeping balance is vital to live long, happy and without disruption. When we put toxic estrogens into our body we are causing imbalances which can potentially be adverse to our health.
Think of the toxic estrogen like this, your body has enough estrogen running around, there is no competition for receptors and you function normally its happy days. Throw toxic environmental estrogen into the mix and suddenly you have all these receptors being hounded and in turn overstimulation occurs. What happens with overstimulation? You are predisposing yourself to disease. Toxic estrogens have a major part to play here. In the world today it is fact that 1/3 women need a hysterectomy, endometriosis, endometrial cancer and infertility are rising and females are having their menstrual cycle earlier. However men aren’t out of harm’s way here, there is a major rise in prostate and testicular cancer with decreased sperm count being massive in men of many age groups.
Symptoms Associated with Estrogen Toxicity
- Breast tenderness
- Gynecomastia (man boobs)
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Infertility in both sexes
- Low sperm count
- Trouble losing weight
- Accelerated ageing process
- Low sex drive
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Low testosterone
- Androgen hormone imbalances
Preventions of Estrogen Toxicity
- Avoid plastics that aren’t BPA free
- Avoid pesticides
- Wash and rinse your food before consuming
- Eat hormone free meat
- Don’t leave plastic eating containers in the sun
- Use water filters
- Try to use organic soap and toothpastes
How to Lower Toxic Estrogen
- Regular exercise (sweat it out)
- Eat lots of green veggies
- Eat as organically as possible
- Drink lots of water/ avoid soft drink
- Watch your carbohydrate intake from processed foods
- Limit alcohol
If you are competing then estrogen balance is extremely important in having the body you desire to step on stage. Everyone needs to look after their own individual balance though. All the steps are there for you eat well and natural, exercise, don’t over indulge in processed foods and alcohol and get plenty of rest. Once again it’s the essentials. Put them into action and not just for 8 or 12 weeks… for a lifetime! I understand everyone is different and our body’s all work differently through our own individual genetics, it is also fact the sharp changes in diet only work for small periods. If you want to be successful long term you need to change your lifestyle. If your lifestyle is toxic then your body is likely to be toxic and you are setting yourself up for disease. Small changes over time, that’s the best, most sensible and sustainable scenario. Remember there will NEVER be a miracle in a bottle and you will only get to where you want by doing what you have to. Discard all your fear and fill yourself with hope and application this will lead you to your goals.